Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life

$17.95

Deacon Michael Hyatt returns to AFR podcasting!

Deacon Michael Hyatt returns to AFR!

Item No. 9781944967307

by Nicole M. Roccas

Idleness. Apathy. Restlessness. Procrastination. These are symptoms of what early Christian theologians called despondency (acedia), a spiritual sickness rooted in a lack of care or effort. A condition as old as the ancients, despondency thrives in today's culture of leisure, anxiety, and digital distraction. Time and Despondency is a penetrating synthesis of ancient theology, spiritual memoir, and self-help practicality. It envisions despondency as the extension of a broken relationship with the experience of time. Driven by the fear of death and the anxiety of living, despondency drives us to abandon the present moment, forsaking the only temporal realm in which we have true fellowship with Christ. The remedies offered by time-honored Christian thinkers for this predicament constitute not only an antidote to despondency but also stepping stones back to the present moment. In regaining the sacredness of time, we re-encounter the Resurrection of Christ in the dark and restless moments of our lives.

About the Author: Dr. Nicole Roccas has been researching and writing about time from both a historical and theological perspective for nearly ten years. In addition to being a writer and editor, she lectures at the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College (Toronto). You can find more of her writing on her Ancient Faith podcast and blog, Time Eternal, and her website, www.nicoleroccas.com. Nicole has a PhD in History from the University of Cincinnati. A native of Wisconsin, Nicole lives in Toronto with her husband, Basil, whose efforts to indoctrinate her into the ways of maple syrup and Canadian spelling have yet to take effect.

Time and Despondency Study Guide
Download the free study guide!

 

Author: Nicole M. Roccas

Format: Paperback

Also available as audiobook and ebook

Dimensions: 5.5 X 8.5 inches

Page Length:  194 pages

Publisher: Ancient Faith Publishing

AFP SKU: 9781944967307

Retail Price: $17.95

Interview with Time and Despondency author Nicole Roccas

LOOK INSIDE... Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life

 

 

 

Read more
Add to wishlist

Description

Deacon Michael Hyatt returns to AFR podcasting!

Deacon Michael Hyatt returns to AFR!

Item No. 9781944967307

by Nicole M. Roccas

Idleness. Apathy. Restlessness. Procrastination. These are symptoms of what early Christian theologians called despondency (acedia), a spiritual sickness rooted in a lack of care or effort. A condition as old as the ancients, despondency thrives in today's culture of leisure, anxiety, and digital distraction. Time and Despondency is a penetrating synthesis of ancient theology, spiritual memoir, and self-help practicality. It envisions despondency as the extension of a broken relationship with the experience of time. Driven by the fear of death and the anxiety of living, despondency drives us to abandon the present moment, forsaking the only temporal realm in which we have true fellowship with Christ. The remedies offered by time-honored Christian thinkers for this predicament constitute not only an antidote to despondency but also stepping stones back to the present moment. In regaining the sacredness of time, we re-encounter the Resurrection of Christ in the dark and restless moments of our lives.

About the Author: Dr. Nicole Roccas has been researching and writing about time from both a historical and theological perspective for nearly ten years. In addition to being a writer and editor, she lectures at the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College (Toronto). You can find more of her writing on her Ancient Faith podcast and blog, Time Eternal, and her website, www.nicoleroccas.com. Nicole has a PhD in History from the University of Cincinnati. A native of Wisconsin, Nicole lives in Toronto with her husband, Basil, whose efforts to indoctrinate her into the ways of maple syrup and Canadian spelling have yet to take effect.

Time and Despondency Study Guide
Download the free study guide!

 

Author: Nicole M. Roccas

Format: Paperback

Also available as audiobook and ebook

Dimensions: 5.5 X 8.5 inches

Page Length:  194 pages

Publisher: Ancient Faith Publishing

AFP SKU: 9781944967307

Retail Price: $17.95

Interview with Time and Despondency author Nicole Roccas

LOOK INSIDE... Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life

 

 

 

Reviews (3)

Write a review

Wise and practical guide to a spiritual condition most of us struggle with

I was so excited to get a review copy of Time and Despondency because that meant I didn’t have until January to read it :) I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and learned a lot about myself, human nature, and how the present moment is where we can know Christ and his Resurrection.

Despondency might seem like a big, abstract subject, but Nicole makes it concrete and personal through her abundant (often brilliant) metaphors and warm writing style.

She also gives many practical, even lighthearted, suggestions to help us get out of the prison of despondency and live in the present of our everyday lives.

It’s a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it!

P.S. Time and Despondency also includes a discussion guide and the questions are illuminating—the kinds of questions that will have your small group or Bible study really engaged with each other, or that will give you a lot to journal about.
Posted by Sarah Bereza on 15th Jan 2018

Hope and Help for Spiritual Struggles

Receiving an advance copy of the Time and Despondency, Regaining the Present in Faith and Life, I’ve hoped to write something helpful or meaningful for potential readers. But, I’ve felt a bit uneasy, and in the familiar malaise that my fellow life travelers on the dark ship of despondency would recognize, I’ve procrastinated. But the process of reading the book has been therapeutic for me – by just allowing me to acknowledge my depressive thought patterns and behaviors that bubble up when the weight of despondency burdens the soul. So sad it is that, in modern/post-modern life, this despondent way of living, thinking and relating is so common and seemingly normal. Dr. Nicole Roccas, by addressing this psychological and spiritual state through the lens of Eastern Christian spirituality, lays a solid foundation for battling such oppressive inner forces.

Despite the heaviness of the topic, her writing flows elegantly and is deeply engaging – it is conversational and at times even light hearted and she quickly goes far beyond a summary recitation of traditional spiritual texts. Her openness in using first person accounts of her life experiences gently walks that fine line that allows her personal experience to speak powerfully to the reader, while drawing her or him to better know his or her own parallel experience or thought process. For example, she affirms the value of using humor while recounting her own experience teaching students by using humor, and how so using its buoyancy eases the burden of her work, makes it more effective, and dispels despondency.

To write just on despondency would have been a helpful topic unto itself, but Dr. Roccas’s insights tying despondency to time take the conversation in an unusual direction. She shares experiences we can all identify with. The frustrations of time that bracket daily life that she cites are steeped with meaning, helping the reader to connect time and despondency. She says, “If we cannot live in the moment, we will not have learned how to live in an eternity.” An eternity of self-inflicted despondent boredom would truly be a Hell of our own making!

While Dr. Roccas begins her chapter on practical advice with the words, “I’m the last person who should be writing a chapter on practical advice…” I have to disagree. Her suggestions, prefaced by more thoughtful explanation about the why of her advice, is a crowning touch to this work. Like the insights of the patristic elders she brings to us, she wants us to know that the theory must be lived in daily moments, and she provides useful ways to do just that – in simple actions like giving thanks.

At first, when I saw the Discussion Questions at the end of the book, I pictured a church group sitting around and talking about their despondency, and I thought, “Yeh, right.” But after reading the book, at least in this first pass, it seems that this sort of exercise might be quite therapeutic – finding healing by taking the wraps off of our hidden self-deceptions, and find a trustworthy space were we might use this book’s insights to make real strides in our spiritual race together. In the end, though, it will probably be in our own ‘cells’ that this demon will be fought, and defeated by the Risen Lord, present with us.

I would highly recommend Time and Despondency as a helpful and engaging companion and resource to spiritual growth.

It won’t be boring…
Posted by Fr. Robert Holet on 15th Jan 2018

A Game-Changer for Temporal Theology!

As a parish priest, university professor, podcaster, doctoral student and parent of three, the topic of time is often at the epicentre of my daily experience. For all those who seem to always be departing but never arriving, working but never accomplishing, starting but never finishing, this book is definitely a game changer! Nicole Roccas examines the ancient problem of despondency in a new and fresh way. In a world that is fascinated with the illusions of the past and future, Nicole brings the human experience into focus through her patristic insight, theological clarity, and witty anecdotes. “In eternity, we understand God as being, whereas in time, we understand Him as action.” If anything, this book calls us to such action - to seek that which always seems so elusive. Time and Despondency challenges us to encounter God where time intersects with eternity; to meet Him in the ever-fleeting, but always accessible present.

Fr. Theodore Paraskevopoulos is the Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Toronto Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College, UofT, and Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Patriarchal Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy. He can also be heard on the Ancient Faith Radio Podcasts “iSermon” and “Fr.TEDTalks.”
Posted by Fr. Theodore Paraskevopoulos on 15th Jan 2018